March 16-22, 2006
Music : ArticleAid Or Invade
Artist: Hossein Alizadeh and Djivan Gasparyan
Album: Endless Vision
Country of Origin: Iran
They nationalized their oil industry, so we engineered the overthrow of their elected government and replaced it with a brutal monarchy. They overthrew the Shah and installed a theocracy run by deranged fundamentalists, so we voted out Jimmy Carter and installed a theocracy run by deranged fundamentalists. You might think that it would be nearly impossible to find a president dumber than our own George W. Bush, but the Iranians actually managed to elect one: and their guy is not only a halfwit, he's also an anti-Semite.
This Iranian love of chess permeates Endless Vision, the new release from Hossein Alizadeh and Djivan Gasparyan on the World Village label. Alizadeh, whom we may assume is a beloved Iranian lute player because he's been allowed to keep both of his hands, makes the first move, leading his band of master musicians into skeletal, trance-inducing songs. Armenian flutist Gasparyan parries with lilting counter-melodies and ghostly vocals.
Adjectives like "ethereal" and "otherworldly" fail to accurately sum up the atmosphere created by this CD, although "frickin' weird" comes pretty close. Think Dead Can Dance without the synths or the pretentiousness. Endless Vision was recorded live in Tehran in 2003 and only released now because the Ministry of Culture had to check each audience member to ensure that no one named Goldfarb had attended.
And the Verdict
But how do we properly thank the spooky music playing Iranians without rewarding their drooling, Jew-hating president? Well, since Ronald Reagan kindly supplied Iran with over a thousand missiles back in '86, maybe we'll just call this match a draw.